From Hunger to Hope

Jun 11, 2024

Food insecurity exists across the U.S. Morgan Stanley has renewed its commitment to Feeding America® with an additional pledge of $8 million to help end hunger among children and underserved populations.

Key Takeaways

  • Food insecurity is pervasive in the U.S. but is more likely to affect children, people in rural communities and people of color.
  • Morgan Stanley continues to support Feeding America®, a nonprofit network of more than 200 food banks throughout the country, with a new grant of $8 million. 
  • The funds will support innovative programs focusing on communities that are particularly at risk.

Approximately 44 million people in the United States face hunger, including more than 13 million children1. In fact, every county in the country has people who don’t have enough to eat2. People facing hunger have said that rising food and housing costs and low wages all contribute to food insecurity3, according to Feeding America, a hunger-relief nonprofit with a network of more than 200 food banks supporting individuals and families in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico.  


While food insecurity is pervasive, it has an outsized impact on certain populations. People in rural communities and southern states are more likely to live in food insecure households compared to people living in urban areas and the Northeast, Midwest, and West4. Of the top 10% of counties with the greatest rates of food insecurity, 87% are rural communities5. Per the latest USDA data, children also face hunger at much higher rates—one in five children face hunger, the highest rate of child food insecurity in nearly a decade6—and while the issue affects people of all races and ethnicities, food insecurity is more common for people of color7.   


Joining Forces to End Hunger

“We have supported the Feeding America network of food banks, which are at the forefront of the movement to end hunger, for 15 years and counting,” said Joan Steinberg, Morgan Stanley’s Global Head of Philanthropy and President of the Morgan Stanley Foundation. “We’re proud to announce the Morgan Stanley Foundation’s latest commitment of $8 million over four years, which will support important programs that focus on innovative solutions to reach communities across the country that are particularly at risk of food insecurity.” 


Those programs include: 


Child and Family Hunger Grants: In line with Morgan Stanley’s philanthropic commitment to children’s health, these grants will be used to expand child hunger programs, helping children and their families access food and resources where they are and when they need it most. Building on the firm’s recent support of the Choice Pantry expansion, which increases access to food choice for families, grantees may also choose to participate in: mobile and school food pantry programs; BackPack, which discreetly offers families free groceries for weekends and school breaks; after-school, weekend and summer meal programs; and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) application assistance programs.  


Equitable Access Operational Response Plans (ORPs): These programs are a new way to improve equitable access to food among underserved populations. Selected food banks will develop and implement customized ORPs that target the people and communities most affected by food insecurity in their area, promoting equitable access to food for all people facing hunger and making progress on closing race- and place-based disparities in access to food. Programs address reported barriers such as the lack of awareness of food assistance options; social stigma; lack of transportation; discrimination; and dietary or cultural preferences. 


“All communities and each person within them deserve the food they need and desire to thrive. Morgan Stanley’s grants provide funding for programs that champion dignified and reliable access to nutritious food for people facing hunger while working to address barriers to support,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America. “We are deeply grateful for Morgan Stanley’s long-term support for grassroots programs as well as the hours their employees have volunteered. Both advance our shared vision of a food-secure America.” 


Making a Difference Where It Matters Most

Since the beginning of Morgan Stanley’s relationship with Feeding America in 2009, our funding has totaled more than $50 million, helping to deliver more than 356 million meals8 to children and families. And our support goes beyond dollars: Morgan Stanley employees have volunteered more than 130,000 hours for Feeding America food banks in communities across the country, lending a hand to the movement to end hunger.  


These efforts peak during Morgan Stanley’s annual Global Volunteer Month each June, when employees across the world join in to generate impact where we live and work. One highly anticipated event is our day of packing food in Times Square to help Food Bank For New York City, a Feeding America partner. Employees help people experiencing food insecurity while raising awareness about hunger in the city where our global headquarters is located.  


Learn more about why “Give Back” is one of Morgan Stanley’s Core Values.